introducing you to my history of domestic violence

our bodies vibrating and intimate, 
you curl around me, whispering 
of liberating me from these trials
these constant time travels 
back to those years of discomfort, 
raised fists, screaming sounds, ruined
and roughened skin and memories, 
your arms around me, protect me 
from that monster,
that sight that arises behind my eyelids 
at any loud noise, constantly forcing 
me to monitor everything, 
from the crunch of gravel under my feet 
to where i sit when i eat,
you hold me to keep me from evaporating, 
separating my own body into 
disconcerted pieces afraid 
of discovery, afraid of 
future, afraid of infinite 

Day 3 of NaPoWriMo!

Prompt: First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting, etc. Now, for each word, use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. For example, if my word is “salt,” my similar words might be “belt,” “silt,” “sailed,” and “sell-out.”

Once you’ve assembled your complete list, work on writing a poem using your new “word bank.” You don’t have to use every word, of course, but try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using your rhyming and similar words.

My word bank: I asked Daniel to pick 10 numbers under 200 and then I picked random words from the corresponding page numbers closest book – Hyperbole and a Half.

pg. 187 – infinite  = infant, intimate, infamy 
pg. 4 – future = fewer, feature, fuel, few 
pg. 79 – vibrating = evaporating, liberating, operating, separating 
pg. 42 – ruined  = roughened, ruin, rend 
pg. 182 – discomfort = disconcert, discovered, descant, discount 
pg. 11 – cancel = council, castle, conceal 
pg. 22 – sit = set, site, sight, soot 
pg. 44 – monster = minister, master, monitor, mentor 
pg. 7 – time travel = trial, gravel, trifle, tree hill 

Golden Boy Coffee Co.

when you turn left on N. Elm St. from 380,
there’s a coffee shop shoved
on to the end of a strip mall on your right

where the parking lot’s been covered
by a green tarp like fake grass and picnic benches
for lounging during summertime margarita sales

a tiny place, crowded and cluttered
with bright yellow couches
and grad students with computers

where it smells like home,
like espresso brewing, like
cookies baking in the oven

where the barista will pour you
another drip coffee that
coats your tongue,

lulling you into forgetting
that time exists
before you even order

Day 2 of National Poetry Writing Month: write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. 

So, of course I had to write about my all time favorite coffee shop. Please consider donating to their Go Fund Me during these difficult times.

sitting in your living room, i try to write you poetry

rc cola cans only half full
your father’s urn, engraved and polished
photographs and paintings of trees 
a blue and yellow tapestry

i sit between these things,
run my fingers across your worn couch cushions,
tracing their golden filigree

and i listen to the banjo from the other room,
waiting for the voice to accompany 

flannel jackets hanging on a dolly,
a dusty record player,
chapstick and mint tic tacs,
ball caps with buttons

i try to type another line of another poem, 
only to hear your guitar
a melody i don’t know

eye drops and essential oils,
empty egg cartons,
a forlorn jar of peanut butter,
and a heart shaped ash tray

i pause and let the strumming
seep through my skin 
fill the spaces in my body
i’d forgotten existed

National Poetry Writing Month Day 3

Prompt: “write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)”

how to forget her hands

bath your body every morning with clorox wipes —
do not forget a single millimeter,
her skin cells will hide in any
corner or crease of your flesh —

take a razor blade to your scalp
and shave away every strand of hair —
do not give her anything to hold on to,
to pull on to bend your head into submission —

stick and poke seven flowers on to your calf,
wipe away the blood with bleach and rubbing alcohol —
do not make them pretty, deface your body with them
so she will never want to touch it again —

change your face and address at least three times —
do not tell anyone
do not invite anyone to your home
do not give anyone a key
and always live alone —

write how to poems
of how to forget her,
of how to erase her
of how to excise her —
do not finish them
because she will never fully go away


First day of National Poetry Writing Month!

Today’s prompt: write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something

if you love a kitchen witch

she will cook bread
on Saturday mornings
always with the windows open
even in December
and she will ask you every time
to kiss away the almond flour
from her cheeks and chin
and she will teach you
how to make homemade hummus
for full moon potluck parties
and steam artichokes with bay leaves
and lemons slices for healing
and she will press her body
to your lips in the evening
after dinner and dishes
and whisper you name
as if it were a spell,
as if it were a recipe

AT the queer karaoke bar

We say older queer couples

are “#goals,”

and watch them dance,

longing for a hand like that

in out own

And looks that gentle 

under harsh neon lights 

and for just a moment,

we think the future is possible 

and we go in the bathroom 

to check out our reflection in the mirror

because we can finally imagine 

crows feet, laugh lines,  and grey hairs at our temples

and not just a suicide in a closet

or a beating in a cornfield 

like my apartment, my body is made of mismatched pieces

novels and poetry anthologies rescued from the dusty shelves of used bookstores
and library sales and friends’ bookcases and the lobes deep inside my brain
brown taco bell bags in a red trash can and slowly rotting plantains in a hanging basket
half-finished watercolor paintings and half-written poems in old notebooks
two legs dotted with bruises the color of growing summer thunderstorms
mason jars from the dollar store filled with flax seeds and cocoa powder
all the lyrics of musicals and conversations with parents that can’t be forgotten
fruit flies and a bumble bee sting covered with tobacco on the bottom of a foot
photos of the brother that hasn’t been seen since february of freshman year
baseboards that need dusting and toenails that need trimming
harry potter socks dotted with holes and a kitchen alter filled with candles and paintings of birds
burgundy hair dye stains and scratches in the linoleum from when a couch was pushed across it
pieces of speckled obsidian and stolen bricks from college campuses
and a piece of rose quartz for clarity and dollar coins from the train station for good luck
cacti and succulents in terracotta pots in front of a window, a poem, a cloudy view
double jointed elbows and wrists that pop in the evening and a box of matches
an armchair covered in words and thighs covered in soft white stretch marks
cat toys with feathers and bells and the memories of soft lips upon walls and skin
agave nectar and saliva, avocado oil and B12 supplements,
miso soup and outdated and forgotten antibiotics
the sound of snorting laughter and shower water hitting tile and cat claws on tv screens
a face made of curves and pimples and blushes and high cheekbones and
a foundation made of doorways and straight lines
and skin stretched over bones and tissue and concrete and muscles and paint and poems